World's First Medical Radioactive Isotope Was Handled in Shirt and Tie

Oak Ridge National Laboratory has just released in high resolution this amazing historical photo. According to ORNL, in this photograph you can see two scientists as they remove the world’s first radioactive isotope produced for medical use from Oak Ridge’s Graphite Reactor, on August 2nd 1946. In compulsory collar… » 5/14/15 8:00am 5/14/15 8:00am

The Last Time Apple Sold an Obscenely Overpriced Gadget

Now that the collective eye roll around Apple's $10,000 watch has turned into a blank stare, it's time for a little bit of nostalgia. Apple is not new to this game of selling seemingly everyday gadgets for ridiculous dollar amounts. The Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (TAM) wrote the rules nearly 20 years ago. » 3/18/15 12:40pm 3/18/15 12:40pm

Brooklyn's Best NYE Tradition Ends Tonight 

If Times Square is too gaudy, crowded, and frankly insane for you, then there is another New York tradition worth your New Year's Eve—one that is, in fact, ending tonight. For the past fifty years, the Pratt Institute has set out its amazing collection of big old steam whistles out on the lawn of its Brooklyn campus.… » 12/31/14 5:30pm 12/31/14 5:30pm

The 110 Year-Old Light Bulb That's Never Been Turned Off

The oldest lightbulb in continuous use was installed before the Wright Brothers took flight, is 110 years old, and is still as beautiful as the day she was born. In fact, it's likely the oldest electrical device in continuous use period. Take a moment and consider just how much the world has changed around this one,… » 11/17/14 11:04am 11/17/14 11:04am

Even the 19th Century Had Needy Nigerian Prince Scams

We've all received that email at least once before. A kind prince/princess/spambot in Nigeria has millions of dollars, and better yet, they want to split it with you. Just hand over your social security code and wait for them to arrive on American soil. As the above newspaper clipping shows, these types of scams were… » 11/14/14 5:27pm 11/14/14 5:27pm

Hey Internet Old Timers, What Was Life Like During the Web's Early Days?

Before fiber optic cables, before Wi-Fi, before you got bombarded with enough AOL free trial CDs to build your family a (very weak and ineffective) home, the internet was a vastly simpler thing. So tell us, you internet pioneers, what was life like during the wild west days of the early internet? » 10/28/14 3:28pm 10/28/14 3:28pm

A Brief History of the Wine Corkscrew

The corkscrew, like so many other inventions, was borne out of necessity. For as long as we have sold wine in glass bottles sealed with cork stoppers, consumers have struggled to easily remove those corks. As soon as the earliest glass bottles arrived in late seventeenth-century England, inventors began dreaming up… » 10/28/14 12:42pm 10/28/14 12:42pm

The Very First Wikipedia Entries for 19 Iconic Products and Companies

Single-serving tumblrs tend to fizzle out and die before their first day is even up, but First Drafts of History might actually have some staying power. Because when it comes to hunting down the more delightfully bizarre of Wikipedia's first entries, there's enough material to last a lifetime. » 10/17/14 1:30pm 10/17/14 1:30pm